The story of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in World War II—the greatest naval battle in history. As Allied ships prepared for the invasion of the Philippine island of Leyte, every available warship, submarine and airplane was placed on alert while Japanese admiral Kurita Takeo stalked Admiral William F. Halsey’s unwitting American armada. It was the beginning of the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf—the greatest naval battle in history. In Storm Over Leyte, acclaimed historian John Prados gives readers an unprecedented look at both sides of this titanic naval clash, demonstrating that, despite the Americans’ overwhelming superiority in firepower and supplies, the Japanese achieved their goal, inflicting grave damage on U.S. forces. And for the first time, readers will have access to the naval intelligence reports that influenced key strategic decisions on both sides. Drawing upon a wealth of untapped sources—U.S. and Japanese military records, diaries, declassified intelligence reports and postwar interrogation transcripts—Prados offers up a masterful narrative of naval conflict on an epic scale.
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Please note: This is a companion version & not the original book. Sample Book Insights: #1 The fight in the Marianas that June crystallized the issue. The Allied fleet invaded Japanese territory for the first time, and the Japanese fleet was soundly defeated. The Allied planes hardly managed to lay a glove on the Japanese. #2 The Japanese diplomat Kase Toshikazu was a trusted friend of the captain, and he told him the toasts were to the official version. In reality, the Navy had sustained a devastating defeat. #3 The Japanese had never been better prepared for the attack on the Marianas. They had reconceptualized the Pacific Ocean area as a series of zones, and had developed plans for each one having local resources and bases. #4 The Japanese planned to use their advantage of having longer striking range than American carrier aircraft. They created a First Air Fleet, an elite land-based force, to attack the American task forces from distances at which the United States would be unable to respond.
Author of Lincoln and His Admirals (winner of the Lincoln Prize), The Battle of Midway (Best Book of the Year, Military History Quarterly), and Operation Neptune (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature), Craig L. Symonds ranks among the country's finest naval historians.World War II at Sea is his crowning achievement, a narrative of the entire war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world's oceans and seas between 1939 and 1945.Here are the major engagements and their interconnections: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the scuttling of the French Navy; the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords and Mussolini's Regia Marina; the rise of the KidoButai and Pearl Harbor; the landings in North Africa and New Guinea, then on Normandy and Iwo Jima. Symonds offers indelible portraits of the great naval leaders - FDR and Churchill (self-proclaimed "Navy men"), Karl Donitz, Francois Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Louis Mountbatten, andWilliam Halsey - while acknowledging the countless seamen and officers of all nationalities whose lives were lost during the greatest naval conflicts ever fought. World War II at Sea is history on a truly epic scale.
Includes 6 charts and 20 photos Pulitzer prize winning author C. Vann Woodward recounts the story of the largest naval battle of all time. “The Battle for Leyte Gulf was the greatest naval battle of the Second World War and the largest engagement ever fought on the high seas. It was composed of four separate yet closely interrelated actions, each of which involved forces comparable in size with those engaged in any previous battle of the Pacific War. The four battles, two of them fought simultaneously, were joined in three different bodies of water separated by as much as 500 miles. Yet all four were fought between dawn of one day and dusk of the next, and all were waged in the repulse of a single, huge Japanese operation. “They were guided by a master plan drawn up in Tokyo two months before our landing and known by the code name Sho Plan. It was a bold and complicated plan calling for reckless sacrifice and the use of cleverly conceived diversion. As an afterthought the suicidal Kamikaze campaign was inaugurated in connection with the plan. Altogether the operation was the most desperate attempted by any naval power during the war-and there were moments, several of them in fact, when it seemed to be approaching dangerously near to success. “Unlike the majority of Pacific naval battles that preceded it, the Battle of Leyte Gulf was not limited to an exchange of air strikes between widely separated carrier forces, although it involved action of that kind. It also included surface and subsurface action between virtually all types of fighting craft from motor torpedo boats to battleships, at ranges varying from point-blank to fifteen miles, with weapons ranging from machine guns to great rifles of 18-inch bore, fired “in anger” by the Japanese for the first time in this battle.”
Written in the style of a thriller but solidly based on an array of sources, this study reinterprets the entire sea campaign in the Pacific, using intelligence as the missing key to the Allied success. It examines every aspect of the secret war of intelligence -- from radio dispatches and espionage to vital information from prisoners and document translation -- showing how U.S. intelligence outsmarted Japan nearly every step of the way. The resulting assessment is a virtual rewriting of history that challenges previous conceptions about the Pacific conflict. John Prados relates the growing intelligence knowledge on both sides to the progress and outcome of naval actions. Along the way he offers a wealth of revelations that include data on how the United States caught the superbattleship Yamato and the impact of intelligence on the initial campaigns in the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies and the escape of American codebreakers from Corregidor. He also provides colorful vignettes of personalities who shaped the secret intelligence war. This ambitious work is not simply a rundown of code-breaking successes, but an astonishing demonstration of how the day-to-day accumulation of knowledge can produce extraordinary results. Its accounting of Japanese intelligence is unprecedented in detail. Its reassessment of battles and campaigns is presented not just in terms of troops or ships but in how the secret war actually played out. Lauded as a major new study when published in hardcover in 1995, the book remains the most comprehensive study written. For sheer drama and gut-level operational practicality, it ranks with the very best.
From one of our most distinguished naval historians, the first wartime biography in a half-century of the man who guided America to victory in the Pacific in World War Two The most cataclysmic and consequential war in history produced more than its share of fascinating characters and great leaders. Some have hardened into legend, others fallen below the radar. Somewhere in-between sits Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of both the Pacific Fleet and the Pacific Ocean Area from 1941 to 1945. Nimitz demanded and received less attention than his Army counterpart, Douglas MacArthur, whose self-promotion was prodigious. He seemed less colorful than some of his subordinates, such as Admiral Bill "Bull" Halsey and General Holland "Howlin' Mad" Smith. Yet Nimitz's was the guiding hand of Allied forces in the Pacific War, and the central figure in the victory against Japan. Craig L. Symonds's full-length portrait of Nimitz, from the precarious early months following Pearl Harbor, when Nimitz assumed command of the Pacific Fleet, to the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay, is the first in more than fifty years. Using Nimitz's headquarters-the eye of the hurricane-as the vantage point, Symonds covers the major campaigns, from Guadalcanal to Okinawa. He captures Nimitz's calm, discipline, homespun wisdom, and uncanny sense of when to project authority and when to pull back, illuminating how this helped him direct one of the largest and most complex campaigns in military history, fought against an implacable foe. The pressures Nimitz faced were crushing, involving tactical and strategic decision-making, visualizing success while mindful of the welfare of those who served under him-soldiers, sailors, and Marines. He had to corral assertive subordinates and keep them focused on the larger objectives, and maintain a strong working relationship with his own superiors, including the equally formidable Admiral Ernest J. King and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In addition, Nimitz had to deal with the public spectacle of war, managing the expectations of a nation both expecting victory and longing for the carnage to end. In retrospect it seems impossible to imagine anyone else could have accomplished all this. As Symonds' absorbing, dynamic, and authoritative portrait reveals, it took leadership asked of-and exhibited by-few others. Behind Nimitz's unflappable professionalism and reservoirs of charm were a resolve and audacity that became evident when most needed.
"The Ghosts of Langley offers a detail-rich, often relentless litany of CIA scandals and mini-scandals. . . [and a] prayer that the CIA learn from and publicly admit its mistakes, rather than perpetuate them in an atmosphere of denial and impunity." —The Washington Post From the writer Kai Bird calls a “wonderfully accessible historian,” the first major history of the CIA in a decade, published to tie in with the seventieth anniversary of the agency’s founding During his first visit to Langley, the CIA’s Virginia headquarters, President Donald Trump told those gathered, “I am so behind you . . . there’s nobody I respect more, ” hinting that he was going to put more CIA operations officers into the field so the CIA could smite its enemies ever more forcefully. But while Trump was making these promises, behind the scenes the CIA was still reeling from blowback from the very tactics that Trump touted—including secret overseas prisons and torture—that it had resorted to a decade earlier during President George W. Bush’s war on terror. Under the latest regime it seemed that the CIA was doomed to repeat its past failures rather than put its house in order. The Ghosts of Langley is a provocative and panoramic new history of the Central Intelligence Agency that relates the agency’s current predicament to its founding and earlier years, telling the story of the agency through the eyes of key figures in CIA history, including some of its most troubling covert actions around the world. It reveals how the agency, over seven decades, has resisted government accountability, going rogue in a series of highly questionable ventures that reach their apotheosis with the secret overseas prisons and torture programs of the war on terror. Drawing on mountains of newly declassified documents, the celebrated historian of national intelligence John Prados throws fresh light on classic agency operations from Poland to Hungary, from Indonesia to Iran-Contra, and from the Bay of Pigs to Guantánamo Bay. The halls of Langley, Prados persuasively argues, echo with the footsteps of past spymasters, to the extent that it resembles a haunted house. Indeed, every day that the militarization of the CIA increases, the agency drifts further away from classic arts of espionage and intelligence analysis—and its original mission, while pushing dangerously beyond accountability. The Ghosts of Langley will be essential reading for anyone who cares about the next phase of American history—and the CIA’s evolution—as its past informs its future and a president of impulsive character prods the agency toward new scandals and failures.
A military intelligence expert examines the most formative battle of World War II. The Battle of Normandy was the greatest offensive campaign the world had ever seen. Millions of soldiers battling for control of Europe were thrust onto the front lines of a massive war unlike any experienced in history. But the greatest of clashes would prove to be the crucible in which the outcome of World War II would be decided. Author John Prados tells the story of how and why the tactics and battle plans of Normandy proved so formative, and reconstructs the climactic Allied Normandy breakout from both sides of the battle lines.
"The Battle of Leyte Gulf was an extremely unusual battle. It was unusual on five separate counts that are so obvious that they are usually missed. It was unusual in that it was a series of actions, not a single battle. It was unusual as a naval battle in that it was fought over five days; historically, naval battles have seldom spread themselves over more than one or two days. It was unusual in terms of its name. This battle involved a series of related actions subsequently grouped together under the name of just one of these engagements, but in fact none of the actions were fought inside Leyte Gulf.... More importantly, it was unusual in that it was a full-scale fleet action fought after the issue of victory and defeat at sea had been decided, and it was unusual in that it resulted in clear, overwhelming victory and defeat." -- from Chapter One The Battle of Leyte Gulf -- October 22-28, 1944 -- was the greatest naval engagement in history. In fact the battle was four separate actions, none of which were fought in the Gulf itself, and the result was the destruction of Japanese naval power in the Pacific. This book is a detailed and comprehensive account of the fighting from both sides. It provides the context of the battle, most obviously in terms of Japanese calculations and the search for "a fitting place to die" and "the chance to bloom as flowers of death." Using Japanese material never previously noted in western accounts, H.P. Willmott provides new perspectives on the unfolding of the battle and very deliberately seeks to give readers a proper understanding of the importance of this battle for American naval operations in the following month. This careful interrogation of the accounts of "the last fleet action" is a significant contribution to military history.
The Battle of Midway is traditionally held as the point when Allied forces gained advantage over the Japanese. In Islands of Destiny, acclaimed historian and military intelligence expert John Prados points out that the Japanese forces quickly regained strength after Midway and continued their assault undaunted. Taking this surprising fact as the start of his inquiry, he began to investigate how and when the Pacific tide turned in the Allies’ favor. Using archives of WWII intelligence reports from both sides, Prados offers up a compelling reassessment of the true turning in the Pacific: not Midway, but the fight for the Solomon Islands. Combat in the Solomons saw a series of surface naval battles, including one of the key battleship-versus-battleship actions of the war; two major carrier actions; daily air duels, including the aerial ambush in which perished the famous Japanese naval commander Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku; and many other hair-raising exploits. Commencing with the Allied invasion of Guadalcanal, Prados shows how and why the Allies beat Japan on the sea, in the air, and in the jungles.